Are your protective behaviors just something you're trying to stop doing, or are you seeing the layers of emotions, narratives, beliefs, symbolism, and experiences deep to them?
When working with clients, I specifically tell them NOT to change anything but instead to search for the meaning of WHY they're doing what they're doing.
When change is the goal, taking action is important, and when understanding is the goal, practicing awareness is essential.
You can't change a behavior you don't understand, and once you understand it, the behavior changes.
Here's a simple way of learning how to outgrow your challenges: Protective behavior --> Fearful emotion --> Scarce narrative --> False identity --> Painful experience.
All protective behaviors are a coverup for insecurities stemming from identification with painful experiences.
You can try changing a behavior, but if you're not disembodying the attachment to your painful experiences, you're merely addressing the manifestation of the problem and not the problem itself--insert sigh.
Once you appreciate that all behavior perfectly expresses WHO you think you are, you'll stop trying to change it, and instead, seek understanding.
"For the habitual truth-teller and truth-seeker, indeed, the whole world has very little liking. He is always unpopular." H.L. Mencken